Forget the new iPad (2021), Xiaomi's Pad 5 tablet could be a better choice for you

Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 rear camera
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi is taking Apple head-on in the tablet game by announcing the global release of its own Xiaomi Pad 5 just a day after the new iPad (2021) appeared.

Previously known as the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 in China, the renamed device will soon launch in other markets such as the UK. The Xiaomi Pad 5 is packed with some decent specs at an affordable price point that could make this a great choice for any new students headed back to school right now and anyone looking for an affordable tablet.

The specs include a 13MP back camera that can be used to scan documents and an 8MP front camera that’s capable of 1080p video for any video meetings you might have. The 11-inch LCD screen seems great too with its 2560 x 1600 (or 2.5K) resolution, and with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support you’ll get some added picture and audio pizzazz when you want to wind down.

The only downside might be the CPU. While you may not notice any issues in day-to-day use, the Xiaomi Pad 5’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chipset might leave you wanting a little more on occasion.

If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, the Xiaomi Pad 5 will launch in the UK on September 23 at £369 for the 6GB and 128GB Cosmic Gray model. If you snag one before September 25, you can get an early bird price of just £299. We've yet to hear any details about this launching in either the US or Australia.

Analysis: Xiaomi Pad 5 vs iPad (2021)

If you’re in the market for a new tablet, you’ll definitely want to take a look at both the Xiaomi Pad 5 and iPad (2021). We haven’t yet had hands-on time with either, but based on the specs we can explain how the pair stack up against each other.

Both devices seem to offer nearly identical camera specs, albeit with the snappers swapped around. The new iPad will give you 12MP on the front and 8MP on the back, while Xiaomi offers 8MP on the front and 13MP on the back. That one extra megapixel probably won’t matter too much either.

As for the display, Xiaomi takes a slight lead with its 11-inch 2560 x 1600 LCD screen compared to Apple’s 10.2-inch 1620 x 2160 LCD offering. You also won’t get Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support on the iPad, but we’d have to see how well the Xiaomi Pad 5 handles those to know if that’s a significant drawback - as it may not have the hardware to make the most of the software.

The only serious win for Apple looks to be the processor, as the iPad's A13 bionic chipset typically performs better than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860. In regular day-to-day use, you might not notice much of a difference but it's something to consider if you need a bit more oomph from your tablet.

Finally, on price, they’re actually fairly similar. If you snag the early bird deal for the Xiaomi Pad 5 you’ll get the best deal at £299, though the base iPad (2021) is only £319 - £50 less than the usual price for Xiaomi’s tablet. The downside is that you’ll be getting around half the storage on the iPad (just 64GB compared with 128GB) but depending on your usage plans that might not be much of a problem.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.